FOIA documents reveal Stamford in closed door negotiations over coal plant water demand

July 2, 2011

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents reveal that representatives of the City of Stamford have been negotiating behind closed doors since 2009 with the proposed Tenaska coal plant over what is likely thousands of acre feet per year of Stamford water. Stamford, along with about 94 percent of Texas was in a state of severe, extreme or exceptional drought as of June 7, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor and drought conditions are not expected to subside in the near future.
“In this drought, we must preserve Texas water for drinking, agriculture and future generations – not for an unnecessary coal plant,” said Whitney Root with Texans Against Tenaska. “If allowed, the proposed Tenaska coal plant would use a huge amount of water on a daily basis in a region that is being hit by a severe drought; one that, it appears, will continue into the future. The documents we requested from City of Stamford reveal that Tenaska is funding the lawyers who are advising the City to the tune of over $65,000 – this leads us to conclude that Stamford officials are heeding biased advice. We’d like to see all the facts because we can’t afford to commit this precious resource to Tenaska's coal plant — not now, and not in the future.”
The documents revealed that since August 18, 2009, Tenaska has been in negotiations regarding an agreement with the City whereby Stamford would provide “firm supply and firm transportation of raw water from Lake Stamford for water demands’ of the proposed coal plant."
“In west Texas, we are already struggling to preserve our limited water supplies,” says Sarah Strom–Kieschnick, Abilene resident and mother of two. “We have to think about the future. We cannot live without water and this coal plant proposal is demanding water for long after my children will be grown. We have to think of people’s real needs first and our future generations and make sure they have water, too.”
Residents of counties surrounding the proposed Tenaska coal plant have established Texans Against Tenaska to provide information to elected officials, other residents and the business and agricultural communities and to build the momentum needed to stop this coal plant. For more information or to volunteer your talents, see or ‘friend’ Texans Against Tenaska on Facebook.
"Tenaska is the last of a final push to build archaic coal plants throughout the state,” said Ryan Rittenhouse of Public Citizen Texas. “Stamford should not tie themselves to a dirty and outdated technology that will use and pollute massive amounts of water. To start with, City of Stamford should open up this process to the public so all the facts can be known. All stakeholders should be involved in this decision.”


Local Water

July 20, 2011 by Home Girl (not verified), 4 years 1 week ago
Comment: 192

As long as I can remember-I have been hearing about our water sources in Sweetwater. I was born and raised there. I probably have a better knowledge than most of water resources in this area. Yes, I know the difference in potable and effluent.

One of these days we may be very happy to have poop water. Many use it now, and effluent is a valuable resource that is decling many places.

Mitchell County Receives Grant To Make Unusable Water Drinkable
COLORADO CITY, Texas -- Many Texas communities are in need of more water, but Mitchell County beat out other Texas towns for a grant that will help them turn unusable water into drinkable water. Tuesday, July 19, 2011.

Valuable effluent

July 22, 2011 by raiderfan (not verified), 4 years 1 week ago
Comment: 194

If the treated effluent is such a valuable resource, why hasn't anyone complained about the city discharging it into Sweetwater Creek for the past 4 decades. Also, if it's such a valuable resource, what will the city do with it if they don't sell it to Tenaska? You guessed it, continue to discharge it into Sweetwater Creek, to the benefit of no one. A valuable resource that is unutilized is a wasted resource.


July 24, 2011 by Home Girl (not verified), 4 years 5 days ago
Comment: 195

Clean air and water are the most valuable things you have. Value is not always about $$$$.

Having water come out of your tap is valuable!


July 3, 2011 by confirmed realist (not verified), 4 years 3 weeks ago
Comment: 183

Thank God someone in Stamford has a brain. Evidently the idiots in Sweetwater and the #1 Idiot in Abilene does not. It is my understanding that the water that Tenaska is seeking is the reclaimed water. Sweetwater does not use the reclaimed water for drinking water. I dare say the IDIOTS that against the project do not know what reclaimed water is. Look it up. It is the water that goes comes from every TOILET in Sweetwater. The solids (poop) are removed and the water goes through a treatment process. Tenaska is willing to pay BIG MONEY for your toilet water not your drinking water.
@Sarah (pick a freakin name) Strom-Kieschnick the next time your kid gets thirst, run on out to Lake Kirby dip his sippy cup in it and let him drink it because that is were the POOP water for Abilene goes. WE DON'T DRINK THE POOP WATER SARA
@Ryan Rittenhouse. Get a CLUE! Do you really think in this day in time (when we were facing a possible gasoline shortage just a few years ago after the hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast meanwhile gasoline refineries including the Pride Refinery in Abilene were sitting idle because of the now more STRICT EPA Guidlines) that the EPA would grant a permit to a plant that is "outdated and dirty".

Go Stamford!!

July 2, 2011 by confirmed realist (not verified), 4 years 3 weeks ago
Comment: 180

At least someone there seems to have a brain. I guess these IDIOTS "Texans against Tenaska" just don't understand that the water that Tenaska will be getting is the WASTEWATER. We do not now and I seriously doubt that anytime in the future we will be DRINKING the pooh water. Stupid Abilene has to pay to get rid of theirs and I am sure Swwetwater does too. In this economic climate of budget cuts I can't imagine what city government with a brain would turn down an extra 50 million guaranteed dollars. Go Stamford. FINALLY a city council with a brain

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